Retro Throwback: Joseph’s Tip #6 – Backbends

On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. Joseph’s Tip #6: Backbends was originally published in January 2013.

I think deep down I knew that a backbending tip would be coming our way. But hey, at least it’s reasonable:

Do at least five backbends everyday.

Ok – I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of the backbend. Actually, that’s not true. I am a fan of the idea of backbends. I would love to be able to do wonderfully deep backbends. I imagine it feels fabulous.

I hate backbends because my back is soooo tight. I went to my PT last week, and told him I was seeing my massage therapist on the weekend. These guys are in cohoots. The PT called up my massage guy and told him how tight my back was and to make sure he worked on it. So backbending is one of those things that I need but is incredibly uncomfortable and miserable for me to do.

But backbends are good. I suppose.

Ok. They are. Joseph is right. We all know we should do them. Want to know why they are good for you? I found a great article you can read.

I also found something from Yoga Journal that says:

Chances are very good that if you are miserable in backbends, it’s not that you don’t value the benefits; it’s more likely that you have never truly experienced them.

So very, very true for me. I don’t think I have done them enough to fully enjoy the benefits of any discomfort I experience.

I do hope Joseph will have time to add a bit of commentary about the backbends. I suspect, based on spending all of one day with him, that when he says do five backbends a day what these backbends look like isn’t the issue. It’s doing them.

Of course I’m not saying do sloppy backbends. What I’m saying is I assume Joseph means do five backbends that are appropriately challenging and do them well. For me, that could be camel or bridge pose. I’m not rocking a wheel by any means.  And I am also guessing that they don’t have to be the same type of backbend (like five camels or five wall walks), but I am only guessing. However, it would be great to have Joseph’s thoughts about how those of us who are not currently loving the backbends might start (you know, Joseph, if you’re not doing anything….) :)

I like the recommendation for five though. Five is do-able. And yes, I know he said “at least five,” but for now, I’m thinking five.

I used to do backbends regularly everyday. I hated them (for the most part), but I did them. I started to like them a bit more over time. But then I slacked off on them. Why? I think I just got overwhelmed with everyone telling me to do X, Y, and Z so many times a day. But now that I’ve gotten things prioritized, I think I can add these back in.

How do you approach backbending? Are you a fan? What benefits have you noticed from practicing them regularly?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Penelope
    Jul 27, 2013 @ 14:52:31

    Ah, backbends. I have always enjoyed them despite the fact that they are NOT a strength for me. (You’ll see my floor bow in a week and you’ll understand!) Camel has always been one of my favourite postures; I love how exhilarated it makes me feel. But I am easily the worst at backbending of all the people that do advanced at our studio. The teacher got us doing those backbends down the wall, and I was the ONLY person that did not reach the floor. However! I kept at it for months, and just a few weeks ago I finally DID reach the floor, and now I can do it consistently. (Though, to be fair, it’s not like my feet are super close to the wall.) It feels AMAZING. I don’t think that my floor bow has improved from this, but my standing bow has. So. Yes. I lack natural backbending talent, but I really like the way it makes me feel. (I also love being upside down.)


  2. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 01:02:10

    Retro Throwback: Joseph’s… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  3. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Nov 27, 2014 @ 21:26:30

    Retro Throwback: Joseph’s… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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